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Non-Profit Organizations and Leadership, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Ideella organisationer och ledarskap

This syllabus is valid: 2022-06-06 and until further notice

Course code: 2LO005

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Leadership and Organisation: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Established by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2021-09-14

Revised by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2022-09-26


The course offers an in-depth exploration of the scientific field of non-profit organizations and leadership. The course covers theories and research on different sub-areas, including non-profit organizations, volunteering and social movements. The first part focuses on how organizational and leadership factors motivate people to work for non-profit organizations. The part module focuses on the role of organization and leadership in social movements, both as internal contexts for participants as well as external actors in relation to the broader environment. Throughout the course, theories and analyses are linked to non-profit organizations' practical work.

Expected learning outcomes

In regards to comprehension and knowledge, on successful completion of the course, the student will be able to: 
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of theoretical concepts and empirical research on the scientific study of non-profit organizations and leadership.  
In regards to ability and proficiency, on successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:  
  • analyze different aspects that shape non-profit organizations and leadership within these with relevant theories, 
  • analyze different aspects that shape people's work in non-profit organizations and social movements with relevant theories, 
  • apply theories on non-profit organizations and leadership to existing organizations, 
  • present their analyses in a scientific manner both orally and in writing, individually and in groups, in English. 
Concerning the logic of inquiry, on successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:  
  • critically review and evaluate theoretical concepts and empirical research on the scientific study of non-profit organizations and leadership. 

Required Knowledge

90 credits in a main field of study within the social sciences including a thesis of 15 credits, or equivalent eligibility. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The course content is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutoring as well as group and individual assignments. Parts or all of the course can be offered with the help of information and communication technologies. This can require specific technological equipment and competence. The course is held in English.

Examination modes

The examination consists of individual and group oral presentations in seminars, an individually written home exam and an individually written paper related to a non-profit organization.  

Grades of Fail or Pass will be awarded for all examinations except those that are written individually, which will be awarded the Fail, Pass or Pass with Distinction. Overall grades for the course are: Fail, Pass or Pass with Distinction. In order to be awarded Pass or Pass with Distinction for the entire course, all of the examination parts must be Passed. To be awarded Pass with distinction, it is required that the individually written examinations are awarded Pass with distinction.  
For each examining part of the course is a regular examination given with a second reexamination within two months after the regular examination. For examinations performed in May and June is the first reexamination offered within three months of the regular examination. In addition to this is a third reexamination given within a year after the end of the course. Examination based on the same course plan as the regular examination is guaranteed within two years after the earlier course plan has ceased to be valid or the course is no longer given (see rules for grades and examination on basic and advanced level, Dnr: FS 1.1.2-553-14). A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course is entitled to have another examiner appointed after a written request to the head of department.  
Deviations from the form of examination in the course plan can be made for a student who has pedagogical support due to disabilities. Individual adjustment of the examination form shall be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the course plan. After a request from the student shall the course coordinator, in consultation with the examiner, quickly decide on the adjusted form of examination. The decision is then to be reported to the student.  
Transfer of credits 
In order to transfer credits to a corresponding course at Umeå University, students have the right to submit previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession for evaluation. Application for transfer of credits is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. More information on transfer of credits is available on Umeå University's student website,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal for transfer of credits may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies whether the entire application or part of the application for transfer of credits is refused.


Valid from: 2022 week 23

Grobman Gary M.
An introduction to the nonprofit sector : a practical approach for the twenty-first century
5th edition. : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania : White Hat Communications : 2018 : 473 pages :
ISBN: 9781929109692
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: Chapter 3

The Wiley Blackwell companion to social movements
Second edition. : Hoboken : NJ : 2019 : xxii, 745 pages :
ISBN: 9781119168553
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: chapter 9, 10, 11

Approximately 15 published research articles.